Kama 2

from the guide Sydney Morning Herald 8-10-01

"A local legend"

Legend Acoustics, based in Canberra, is no ordinal speaker company. Its creator and designer, Dr Rod Crawford, has designed speakers for one of the most famous names in hi Linn Products, which is based in Scotland. He landed the job there while studying in Britain and designed Linn's Nexus, Helix and Keltic models, He spent four years at Linn before returning to Canberra and setting up Legend Acoustics

The Kama 2 is a small floor-standing speaker design that combines a pair of l7mm-diameter French Audax aerogel-coned bass drivers with a fabric dome tweeter made by Morel. Where most designers would have used a D'Appolito driver layout, Dr Crawford prefers the sound quality that comes from offsetting the tweeter.

Aerogel is an acrylic polymer containing carbon and Kevlar fibres. Audax uses a proprietary technology to align these fibres along the polymer chain, resulting in a cone that is go per cent lighter than a paper cone and do per cent more rigid. Other manufacturers using similar techniques manage a gel/fibre ratio of only 50:50, but it Audax's drivers are 80 per cent fibre and 20 per cent gel. Legend modifies the cones by adding material to increase cone mass and deliver additional damping.

Morel's tweeter has a 25 mm diameter soft fabric dome that operates from quite a deep horn. To smooth the ripples in the frequency this horn response generate loading, Legend adds a thin layer of felt to the horn's periphery.

The crossover is hard-wired with high-quality components. The coils are air-cored and cross-mounted to minimise magnetic interaction. I was half expecting to see the ribbon foil inductors Legend uses in its more expensive Kantu loudspeakers, but in the Kama z one coil with Litz wire and the other with conventional copper wire.

The cabinet is very well made, using Australian wood veneers. Although the Kama 2 has a grille cloth, it isn't stretched over a grille frame. Instead, the cloth has an elasticized edge that snaps into a groove around the edge of the baffle. It's a great system because you don't have to worry about the grille frame rattling or edge reflections affecting sound vanity. What's more, anyone handy with a sewing machine can whip up a new grille cloth in any colour.

Legend's Kama 2 have a dynamic and exciting sound quality, probably due to their very high efficiency (measured at 92.5 do SPL) and a slightly forward midrange. The bass is fast, tuneful and has not been artificially boosted to give the so-called "showroom boom'' that emphasizes frequencies around 100-150 Hz. If anything, the bass is somewhat subdued, most noticeably in the lowest octaves. The extreme high frequencies also roll off in level a little, so the speakers will never sound edgy or harsh, even at high volume.

Greg Borrowman is the editor of Australian HI-FI Magazine.